Achour Esho is the owner, founder, and head instructor at FLO Fitness & Martial Arts in Palatine, Illinois.
He also has 24 years of martial arts experience. In 1998, Achour (Osh for short) started competing in kickboxing, and became the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) regional kickboxing champion. In 2001, he switched to boxing, competed in the Golden Gloves, and won the USABF Illinois state title.
In 2005, “Coach Osh” became a professional boxer with a record of 12-0. He also completes professionally in MMA, with a record of 2-0.
For his most recent fight, against Ecuadorian opponent Eduardo Flores, Osh incorporated Factor prepared meals into his training regimen. (He won the fight, by the way.)
Factor got Osh to open up about the rigors of training, how he juggles his “extra part-time job” with his other full-time jobs of business owner and family man, and chocolate ice cream.
Tell us about your fighting & training schedule.
My training schedule for my fight is like a seasonal part time job. It’s usually a three month training camp — 9-10 sessions a week — averaging about 15 hours of hard core, intense training per week.
Most of this is focused on boxing, but 4-5 sessions a week focus on strength and conditioning (running, lifting, etc.).
I measure my progress by monitoring the intensity of each workout, and how I spar. If I throw more punches, hit harder and faster and I’m still able to keep my breathing under control, I’m doing better. I also use sparring as a good gauge. I spar 2-3 times per week.
What’s the most crucial element of your success? Why?
Recovery is really important for me, especially now that I’m older than most fighters (at the ripe old age of 36). Also, I have two young children that don’t let me sleep through the night. So nutrition and sleep are super important.
How has your routine evolved over the years?
I’ve had to try harder to recover, and I pay a higher price when I don’t recover properly. So I’ve had to focus more on nutrition than I used to, and I’ve had to build in a recovery component to my training that’s non-negotiable.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to deal with?
It’s my hectic schedule. I own a gym, run an athletic competition called the Powerfit Games, provide personal training and fitness classes, and I’m a husband and father to boot. Luckily my amazing wife has taken a lot off my plate to allow me a few more hours each day to focus on what I love to do. (Not that I don’t love doing all that other stuff!)
What role does food and nutrition play in your training?
Huge! I didn’t know how much until I got into my 30’s. Every day that goes by I would say a higher percentage of my focus goes towards nutrition and recovery.
What made you decide to use Factor meals when training for this recent fight?
It takes all the guessing out of what to eat. And the convenience is huge.
Did you notice a difference from eating our meals during your training?
I dropped weight really fast. Actually, so fast I ended up adding another meal the week before the fight.
What kinds of things did you eat before you started focusing so much on recovery?
Way too much food and desserts. I love chocolate desserts.
How does Factor fit into a rigorous training plan like yours?
I needed an extra meal each day to help fuel me. So by the last week of training, I was making breakfast at home and eating three Factor meals a day plus a snack.
So… tell us about the fight! Who was your opponent? What did you do to win?
Eduardo was a tough opponent with over 50 professional fights, and a chin made of granite. I won 5 out of 6 rounds using tactical boxing (meaning, I didn’t knock him out; I won on points.) Boxing is like chess — there’s lots of strategy involved. You don’t just throw punches at each other without a game plan.
Eduardo has incredible endurance, but he’s not as fast as I am. So I used that — moving quickly and getting out of his way before he could get his next hit. We don’t speak the same language, but we had a lot of respect for each other.
This fight made me 12-0 in boxing and 2-0 in MMA as a professional.
Lightning round! What’s your favorite:
…cheat food? Chocolate ice cream desserts. Brownie à la mode, or Culvers chocolate custard with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
…training music? Old school hip hop. Biggie Smalls, Mace, etc.
…guilty pleasure? Does sleeping count? (Yes, Osh, it does.)
What’s your motto or philosophy when it come to fitness?
Train harder than anyone. Always go ’til failure and find away to keep going. It’s mental and a physical grind.”Die training everyday and no one can kill you in battle.” I literally just made that up.
Thanks Osh! Now it’s plug time. Tell us all about FLO Fitness.
FLO Fitness and Martial Arts is a friendly gym that helps everyday people get in shape while having fun. We offer boxing, strength and conditioning, cardio kickboxing, Crossfit, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga…. we have something for everyone.
Want to fuel yourself like a 12-0 boxer (without all the boxing)?